A Tale of Renewal and Rebirth

Dark Lady Devinity

Chapter Nine

Short chapter is short.

Sorry about the long absence. My muse kicked itself out of the Kingdom Hearts realm and into Batman, I think. And I'm lazy. And there was work and then New York comic con and then I was lazy and had work again. And now, the new Romantically Apocolyptic category has all my attention so I thought I better get a new chapter out before I was completely distracted forever. Still, we're to the halfway point now.

Nine

Only a few more steps lie ahead of them before they can reach their goal. But this does not mean that they will be finished in those few steps. The most important decisions have yet to occur even as events move closer and closer to these decisions. Brave thirteen was shattered. Will brave thirteen work the same once it is put back together again?

XxX

One part of a long journey ends here.

XxX

Blue water lapped gently at the shoreline. The seas were calm and soothed the soul of every person looking out on them except maybe the surfers. A few of the surfers were out in the water, however, teaching their friends how to use a board. Axel smiled despite his affinity for fire putting a damper on his appreciation of water. Mostly though, he was happy to be out of the gummi ship and finally standing on the soil of Demyx's home world. The trip between the Olympus Coliseum and Demyx's world had lasted for an entire day. Xigbar wouldn't share his seat as he was the driver and no one wanted to sit with Larxene for fear of accidently molesting her.

Saix had been the one to attempt sitting on the floor but then they had to fly through an asteroid belt. Xigbar failed to fly straight and Saix was sent sliding across the ship until he caught hold of Axel's outstretched hand and was able to haul himself up into a standing position. With his dignity tarnished, Saix had little qualms about dropping himself into Axel's lap. Once through the asteroid belt and with the ship flying steady, the group agreed it was best to take turns sharing the seats. It was amusing though when it came time to Luxord and Zexion to share seats as Zexion would glare at everyone in embarrassment while Luxord calmly held the smaller man in place with one arm while playing poker with Marluxia using the other hand.

Still, everyone was relieved to land in Demyx's home world and get off of the ship.

Zexion quickly explained that Demyx was from Kauai, Hawaii. Luxord paused at the information as there was an island with the same name in his home world but otherwise no one reacted to the information. The group knew a fair deal about Demyx as he had been the most vocal and honest of all the members. Myde and his musical ambitions was one of Demyx's favourite topics of conversation. Demyx also had such a strong laziness streak that everyone suspected that Myde was the lazy sort as well. Demyx had, after all, been found only two blocks away from where he lost his heart. Xigbar and Xaldin had found him playing sitar outside a bar, trying to pick up girls. The melodious nocturne hadn't even realised his heart was missing.

After the brief debriefing, Larxene responded with, "So the coward should actually be really easy to find."

"Yes." Zexion had replied. "Unless he panicked and ran away."

"Considering how long he's been awake and the fact that he's still Demyx, even with a heart, I doubt he got very far." Saix commented. As the one who handed out all the missions, Saix had come to know Demyx and his cowardly lazy ways quite well.

Thus Axel found himself watching the sea while the others wandered around the area. A boy with dark brown hair and a tan was nearby playing a worn down guitar. He could sing too although he'd never be a pop sensation. Axel was contemplating sneaking off on an ice cream break when he realised that the dark haired singer had an extremely familiar hairstyle and Axel knew the song he was singing. The song was a strange little ditty from Wonderland and no one from this world should have ever had the opportunity to hear about Wonderland's existence let alone one of its songs.

Axel was about to yell out "Demyx!" but then though better of it. Instead the red head choose to sneak up behind the boy and grabbed him.

"EEEEKKKKKKKKKK!" the boy screamed and Axel knew he had found Demyx.

"Relax Demyx. It's me, Axel."

Demyx turned around quickly when Axel released him. The boy was smiling brightly. Axel noticed that Myde definitely did have darker hair than Demyx but the tan could have been due to Hawaii's bright sun. Myde and Demyx shared the same blue eyes though.

"Hey man! You got your heart back too huh? Yeah, I actually noticed this time. I mean, okay, I didn't realize at first because I wasn't expecting it and then there was a lot of pain and someone said 'hey, you really look like you need to pee' and I was all 'silly human, nobodies don't need to pee' but I went to the bathroom anyway and discovered that I did need to pee and then my stomach made noises so I went to eat and there was all sort of craziness and I was sent to the hospital and it turns out that I was so surprised to not be dead that I had actually gone into shock and they made me stay overnight at the hospital." Demyx ranted. Then he remembered his need for air and took in deep, gasping breaths of air.

Finally, Demyx calmed down and said, sheepishly, "Sorry about that. It's the first time in a long time that I've felt this happy or relaxed and I think the sheer presence if happiness is making me hyper… You really do have a heart right? I'm not going to die again am I?"

"Yeah, I've got a heart. Everyone in the Organization does." Axel said. "Sora kicked all our asses."

Axel didn't feel the need to explain to Demyx about how he turned traitor and actually died. However, he did tell Demyx about why he was looking for everyone in the organization and their concerns about their powers returning. Then he also explained everything Xaldin had told them in his most recent emails. Before they had stepped out into the sunshine of Demyx's home world, Zexion had checked his messages. Xaldin still had not found Vexen and there was no sign of Xemnas. But Xaldin and Lexaeus had agreed that Sora needed to be brought in so long as everyone else agreed.

"So you want me to come with you to Radiant Garden, help decide if we should bring Sora into this mess and fight Xemnas?" Demyx asked. "Are you out of your mind?! I can't do all that!"

Axel was about to argue with Demyx when he heard Larxene's faint yell of "I found him! I think he's got Demyx with him!"

It wasn't long before everyone had gathered around Demyx, ready to move onto the next part of their plan. The former nobodies had to have assumed that Demyx was ready to do whatever they told him as he had been the easiest to find. Demyx, however, was having none of it.

"I do not want to go fight Xemnas!" Demyx yelled, interrupting the many voices that were trying to talk over each other. Myde apparently was a little bolder than Demyx in expressing himself. As a nobody, Demyx would have made much the same statement but he would have said it in a way that would annoy the least amount of people.

Everyone stopped to stare at him. Axel wasn't surprised that Demyx was not as ready as the others to jump back into their dangerously adventurous lives as the red head had been talking to him beforehand. But the others were giving the water user incredulous looks.

"Demyx-" Zexion started to speak.

"Actually, I prefer Myde." Demyx interrupted. "I've moved on. I never wanted to be a nobody or join a weird organization or go on deadly missions. I like being a drifter with no money to his name. Pretty girls like me and tourists give me their spare change when I sing. Plus, I live on a beach. I can swim and surf as much as I like." He paused. "Okay, the aliens are a little weird but Nani lets Lilo play with them so they must be safe."

"Aliens?" Xigbar asked.

Demyx nodded. "Yeah. Look, there's Lilo now with her alien dog."

The musician pointed at a little Hawaiian girl and her blue dog. Luxord gave the dog a funny look and said, "Isn't he one of the creatures that the keyblade bearer would summon to help him?"

"Yes it is." Saix said. The blunette's tone suggested that nothing would surprise him at this point.

Marluxia was the one who decided that they needed to return to the subject at hand. It was good timing because Zexion and Xigbar were both about to wander off towards the alien creature in scientist mode. Marluxia sighed and said, "I don't care what you decide to call yourself kid. But we don't know why we still have powers so you might very well become Demyx again. You don't have to fight Xemnas. That doesn't mean that Xemnas is going to leave you alone though. All we're saying is that if you go to Radiant Garden maybe one of the original members can find out why our current selves are different from our original somebodies. And maybe we can find out what Xemnas wants so we can better protect ourselves. I understand why you want to stay. As soon as this is over I'm going back to Corona."

Axel looked at Marluxia. He hadn't actually thought about any of the newer former organization members going back home again. He realised that he had expected everyone to stay together forever unless death separated them. Judging by the way some of the others shuffled self-consciously, he wasn't the only one who had thought that.

"That makes sense." Demyx lamented. "I guess I will go with you."

"Good." Marluxia said. "That's one problem solved. Now, are we going to go straight to Radiant Garden or are we going to Destiny Islands first?"

"Why would we go to Destiny Islands?" Larxene asked.

"That is the home world of the keyblade bearer." Saix said. "You're thinking about enlisting his help?"

Marluxia shrugged. "He's going to be involved anyway. If Xaldin's theories are correct then Xemnas is going to want all thirteen members. Sora may not be the ideal person to kidnap but he is Roxas as much as any of us are our former nobody selves. If we don't do get him then either Xemnas or those restoration committee kids will bring him into this."

"Sora is really strong." Demyx said helpfully.

Saix sighed. "I concur." Zexion and Larxene both nodded begrudgingly. Xigbar and Luxord indicated that they could go either way.

"I was sort of allied with Sora at the end anyway." Axel said, sighing. "Although I don't like bringing kids into this I think we should ask him for help."

"Xaldin was the one who suggested it in the first place so it's clear that he and Lexaeus were thinking about asking Sora for help anyway." Zexion said. "Well, if we want Sora's help then we better go get him."

XxX

At one point Demyx asked, "How do we know that this has anything to do with us? Maybe this is something between Xemnas and his former apprentices?"

Axel saw the way Zexion's back stiffened while the neophytes seriously contemplated the suggestion. Axel knew the young scientist was wondering how he'd get Radiant Garden out of this mess without the neophytes' help.

Axel was wondering the same thing.

XxX

It was a beautiful sunny day. Sora was unaware that he was mirroring Axel's position from not all that long ago. However, instead of looking for former nobodies while watching the ocean, Sora was looking for his friends while watching the ocean. He knew that Riku was stretched out somewhere on the warm sand while Kairi was swimming with Selphie.

He heard Kairi before he saw her.

The princess of heart was calling for both Sora and Riku while her swimming companion was yelling for her to wait up. Whatever Kairi needed the boys for had to be important for her to ignore Selphie. Then Sora spotted Kairi as she finally came into his line of slight. The girl was dripping water everywhere as she energetically waved him down. Sora raced down to the girl and Riku was beside him a few moments later.

"What is it Kairi?" Sora asked.

"I just found this bottle floating out at sea. Look at the seal on it." Kairi said as she handed Sora a clear blue bottle with some paper inside it.

Riku looked over Sora's shoulder and peered at the familiar mouse head seal. Sora grinned and popped the bottle open before carefully extracting the letter.

"Looks like there's trouble with the heartless again." Sora said. "The King says he'll contact us again if he truly needs us but we should be prepared anyway. He suggests that we should really consider going to Radiant Garden though."

"Does he say what he thinks the trouble is?" Kairi asked. "Or is it heartless in general."

Riku, having quickly scanned the letter in Sora's hand, shook his head. "He says that there's been a high concentration of dark magic in Radiant Garden and that he's going to contact Leon. I don't think he actually knows."

Sora grinned. The boy was confident in his skills and looked forward to the adventure. If he was lucky, he would be meeting up with Donald and Goofy in Radiant Garden as well as Leon and the others. The thought of meeting up with old friends was exciting. Riku sighed in affection and decided he would have to be the pragmatic one. Kairi raised an eyebrow at them both.

"I can tell what you're thinking. But I want you to realise before you leap in another adventure that I'm going too." The girl said.

"What?" Sora said as Riku replied, "It's not safe."

Kairi rolled her eyes. "I have a keyblade too, you know. Besides, if I go with you then I won't be here for any dark forces to kidnap me… again."

"You weren't in Destiny Islands that time you got kidnapped soon after you were kidnapped." Sora said.

"That argument isn't going to change my mind." Kairi said.

Riku laughed and told the girl that she was right just as Selphie caught up to them. The brown haired girl demanded to know what was going on but Kairi just shook her head in mirth. Then she walked the other girl back toward their shoes and towels.

"I wonder what we're in for this time." Riku said.

Sora laughed. "Whatever it is, it won't be able to stand up to us if we're all together."

XxX

And as one journey ends, another begins.